Ellie Smith

Photo of Ellie Smith
Major: Criminal Justice and Psychology
Minor: Forensics

For junior Ellie Smith, the call to serve is deeply ingrained in her passion for putting others first. It was that call that led her to join the Air Force Reserves out of high school, join the Walsh Leaders in Social Justice and pursue her goal to become a police officer through her Walsh majors of Criminal Justice and Psychology with a minor in Forensics.

Ellie credits Walsh University’s mission of service for the overall feelings of support and encouragement she has received in the pursuit of her goals.

“Growing up in this area, I thought I knew everything there was to know about Walsh. I realize now I didn’t exactly know what the school was all about until I actually got here,” said Smith. “That overall commitment to mission on campus has been a support for me. Even with all of my activities and responsibilities with the Reserves, I know that Walsh has got my back too and I feel like the Walsh community cares about what I’m doing.”

Ellie joined the Air Force reserves the summer before her freshman year at Walsh in 2018. As a Senior Airman, Ellie is stationed at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station where she works as a personalist, the equivalent to human resources. As a traditional reservist, she works on base once a month with an annual tour of two weeks each year. She spent the past summer working on the base as well. Among the many benefits Ellie cites of her service, she was able to earn enough college credits during basic training to graduate early.

“My grandpa served in the Army, so it felt like my opportunity to carry on the tradition in our family,” said Ellie. “Joining has always been a goal of mine that I hope will also give me a competitive edge in my career goal to be a police officer. It has been an incredible experience that not only forced me to grow up a little faster than my peers, but also gave me the confidence to become the person I hoped to be.”

Ellie has found many crossovers between her experiences at Walsh University and the Air Force Reserves. Through the Leaders in Social Justice, she is able to serve in the local community and develop ideas that she can bring back to the Reserves, who are also committed to local service opportunities. One of the most impactful experiences with the Leaders has been their time spent at Lighthouse Ministries in Canton.

“Being from Canton, I had no idea how poverty impacts our community. I had never realized what was just around the corner that we don’t see every day,” said Ellie. “My experience with the Leaders has really opened my heart to be more sensitive to what another person may be going through. And I’ve found that things we talk about in Leaders, I can bring to the Reserves and it becomes a way we can get involved in the community as well. With both groups, I’ve found that it is our individual strengths that build the team. “

Ellie plans to graduate from Walsh and continue to pursue her goal to become a police officer in the regional area.

“My passion is helping people. I like going home each night with that sense of peace that I’ve used my time for something good and that the people around me are ok. Through Walsh and the Reserves, I’ve learned to really listen to what people are saying and try to understand their personal perspective. That is something I will carry with me throughout my life.”